The Doyle administration has reached an agreement with the federal governmemnt, on plans to expand health care access in Wisconsin.
It's the next big step, for BadgerCare Plus . Under the proposal, those who are uninsured and who do not have children under their care may now have access to primary and preventive care. The five-year federal waiver proposal builds upon Wisconsin's existing BadgerCare Plus program.
"Today we cleared one of the final hurdles on the way toward my goal of providing access to health insurance for 98 percent of Wisconsin residents," Governor Jim Doyle said. "However, the significant downturn in the national economy, and its effect on the state's fiscal situation, will challenge our ability to quickly extend this program."
Doyle thanked U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, and U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, along with the rest of the Wisconsin delegation, for their bipartisan work to encourage the federal government to support this new health care plan that will benefit some of the state's hardest working residents.
"The bipartisan commitment between Madison and Washington on this issue has been remarkable," said Ryan . "BadgerCare Plus epitomizes Wisconsin's proud tradition of reforming our social safety nets though innovation and empowerment."
"It's no secret that along with other financial worries, Wisconsinites face skyrocketing health care costs." said Baldwin ."In this difficult economic climate, many are forced to delay health care until it is critically necessary and even more costly. With this approval, our state's innovative health care system takes another step forward, ensuring that many more Wisconsinites have access to basic health care services."
The state and federal government are currently working to finalize the waiver. Once the plan is finalized, the state will use federal funding that previously supported uncompensated care to provide health insurance coverage to low-income adults.
"Because of this waiver, an estimated 81,000 adults in the state will finally have access to the health care they need," said Feingold . "This approach to lowering the number of uninsured in the state without increasing costs demonstrates once again that Wisconsin is a leader in creating innovative solutions to some of our country's most complex health care challenges."
Income-eligible adults, from age 19 through 64 who do not have children or do not have dependent children under age 19 living with them, may be able to enroll in the BadgerCare Plus Core Plan, which will cover basic health care services, including primary and preventive care as well as generic drugs. Every adult who applies to the program will have to complete an online health needs assessment before the application can be submitted for approval, and all members must receive a comprehensive physical exam within the first year of being enrolled in the program.